Igor Babushkin: "We're waiting for the opening of the Astrakhan Business Center in Baku"
In September of last year Igor Babushkin was elected governor of the Astrakhan region. A few months later he went to Baku, with which this Russian region has a long history of cooperation in the Caspian direction. Today Igor Babushkin told Vestnik Kavkaza about his visit to Azerbaijan and cooperation with this country.
- The Astrakhan region is actively cooperating with Azerbaijan. What projects are you currently implementing?
- Of course, since we're in the south of Russia, in the Caspian region, we're actively developing cooperation between the Caspian states. Before the New Year, I visited the Republic of Azerbaijan and held a meeting with President Ilham Heydarovich Aliyev. We discussed a wide range of issues related to the development of transport, freight transportation, and cooperation between our universities. In addition, we talked about capabilities of tourism development in the Caspian region. Today we plan to maintain this dialogue not only with Azerbaijan, but also with all Caspian littoral states, developing our good-neighborly Caspian relations.
- What can you tell about preparations for the Caspian Economic Forum, which will be held next year?
- We have been allowed to hold the Second Caspian Economic Forum in August of 2021. We're actively preparing for it. It's a great honor and a huge responsibility for us. (The Second Caspian Economic Forum will be held over two days and will be a place where several discussion platforms on economic, environmental and humanitarian issues will be held. An exhibition of foreign and domestic achievements in innovation, transport, equipment for port infrastructure, logistics services, and education is planned. The forum will allow to formulate business proposals to the governments of the Caspian littoral states on removing barriers and assistance in the progressive development of trade, concluding interstate domestic and international agreements and contracts).
- What are your impressions of your visit to Azerbaijan?
- I was in Baku for the first time, and I was struck by the beauty of this city. We intend to actively exchange visits, since the Azerbaijan Business Center already operates in Astrakhan. In June we will open the Astrakhan business center in Baku. I am sure that this will be a very serious help for even closer cooperation with Azerbaijan.
- Will you personally open the Center?
- Of course.
At the meeting with Igor Babushkin, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev said at the end of last year, "The Astrakhan business center is ready for opening and construction is almost complete. This is a very important event, because through these business centers we will promote mutual trade ... We already have direct We hope that both our tourists and tourists from Astrakhan will visit each other more. In general, the number of Russian tourists visiting Azerbaijan is growing. I think this figure will be close to 1 million this  he’s a man. This is a good indicator of cooperation, friendship and the fact that our citizens feel comfortable when they visit each other. "